While planning a sightseeing tour through any city, the most obvious choice is to look into touristic guide book. This way we can be certain that most important sights and street will be listed, along with their history and pictures – they provide the impression on having everything covered… But the most popular touristic routes are being trampled by thousands of visitors every year. Described in guide books, they differ by the amount of details, place from where the photo was taken and by the order of sights – if you go from A to B or from B to A. Still, often they leave out interesting tastes, characteristic for the particular city.
This is why an important complement are alternative “paths”, less known and less crowded, often more inspiring than ones from “Touristic Bibles” like Lonely Planet. While visiting Sofia you can take a trail marked by electric boxes that can be found all over the city center, from which each one of them is painted in different way by local artists.
During my first visit to Bulgaria’s capital I accidentally encountered few of them, but I’ve taken them as some curiosity, not knowing that the thing is bigger than I suspected. Getting deeper into this topic I discovered, that there are dozens of them – whole streets full of masterpieces of urban art.
In 2011 during Sofia Design Days Transformeri Association in collaboration with (among others) local electric company ЧЕЗ София and city municipality has brought so-far unused public space to use. The first was Tsar Shishman street, where all the electric box has been turned into canvas for street artists. With the development of the project grey avenues and boulevards turned into urban galleries – other areas of Sofia joined Tsar Shishman street.